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The Portmanor faces uncertain future as Punch Taverns agrees deal to sell Crystal Palace fans' pub

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A POPULAR Crystal Palace supporters' pub could have seen its last match-day as its operator has agreed a deal to sell it. Punch Taverns said today (Wednesday) it had agreed a deal to sell The Portmanor – the home of supporters' group The Holmesdale Fanatics. But The Advertiser understands the premises' new owners may not keep the venue operating as a pub. The pub's landlord, Geoff Charles, said this week he would not remain in charge unless its operators let him buy it. He said Punch had failed to support him and install CCTV to comply with the terms of his licence, which police attempted to revoke in March with a report alleging it was the "preferred location of hooligans". Punch denied this and said its engineers had been refused entry to the pub and that Mr Charles was uncontactable. However, DJ-turned-landlord Mr Charles questioned why he would refuse the engineers entry to the pub as he was forced to close The Portmanor for Palace's final home game of the season against Liverpool. He said: "Why would I do that? I don't know why Punch are saying that. I am not surprised they are almost £2billion in debt they way they run places. "If they had installed CCTV then they would have made a couple of thousand pounds that night. I lost more than £5,000. "I could have opened and taken the money but I didn't want everyone to say Geoff's running an illegal operation. The police asked me to close and I can say I left with my head held high." Mr Charles said he plans to hand the keys to the pub back to Punch and had been offered support from a consortium to buy the pub. However, Punch confirmed on Wednesday (May 7) it had agreed a deal with another purchaser for the pub and are currently in the legal process for the sale. It intends to keep the pub trading throughout this period but a source told the Advertiser a different type of business was likely to open on the site, although it is unclear what that will be. Mr Charles, who took over the running of the pub in 2011, added: "That's it, I'm done unless we can sort something out to buy it in the future. "I am gutted we didn't get to have a proper send-off at the Liverpool game but it wasn't to be. "If this is it, I'd like to thank everyone involved including the staff and the Palace fans. We've had some really great times in that place."

The Portmanor faces uncertain future as Punch Taverns agrees deal to sell Crystal Palace fans' pub


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